by Paul M. Dabbar Under Secretary for Science Department of Energy
America is on the verge of a new era of space exploration, and America’s leadership in the space domain will be due to its courage to go and its conviction to stay. DOE, by many measures the “Department of Exploration,” is proud to be playing an essential part in rising to these challenges.
NASA and SpaceX recently launched American astronauts aboard an American rocket from American soil to the International Space Station for the first time since 2011, and America is actively planning to return to the Moon … and then go even further.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — The Commercial Spaceflight Federation today praised the Department of Commerce’s release this week of a rulemaking that dramatically reforms the U.S. government’s regulation of the U.S. commercial remote sensing industry.
“We wish to thank Secretary Wilbur Ross, the Office of Space Commerce and its Director Kevin O’Connell, and NOAA’s Office of Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs for publishing this forward-leaning, streamlined set of rules for this growing and important industry,” declared Eric Stallmer, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. “And we again thank Vice President Pence, the National Space Council, and its Executive Secretary Scott Pace for issuing Space Policy Directive 2 two years ago, which focused agencies across the government to minimize regulatory burden and streamline oversight.”
Up until now, the U.S. remote sensing industry has been governed by legislation and regulations written in the early 1990’s. While capabilities and technologies have progressed over the decades, companies dealt with these outdated regulations, often prohibiting new technologies and disincentivising the industry. License applications regularly took too long to authorize with little to no transparency into the decision making process. With these revised regulations, comes a new era for the remote sensing industry and as new licenses are granted, we hope to see these principles put into practice.
“Thank you to the Commerce Department for developing these new rules that reduce bureaucratic restrictions on industry so they can innovate faster, compete effectively internationally, and enable new applications for satellite observations of the Earth,” said Stallmer. “CSF has fought hard for several years to promote legislative and regulatory reforms that would streamline these rules. We believe that these new rules from the Department of Commerce are an important step forward to enable U.S. companies to compete in a growing international marketplace while protecting America’s national security concerns.”
WASHINGTON, May 19, 2020 (NASA PR) — Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce released new regulations to improve the licensing process for private U.S. satellite remote sensing operations, helping ensure continued U.S. leadership in a critical commercial space industry.
The new final rules increase openness and transparency in the licensing process, will eliminate most restrictions on how licensed remote sensing systems may be operated, such as limits on the resolution of imagery, and prohibit the government from imposing additional conditions after a license has been issued.
The head of NASA’s human spaceflight program has resigned three days before a flight readiness review (FRR) for the first human spaceflight from U.S. soil in nearly nine years.
Douglas Loverro, associate administrator for the human exploration and operations (HEO), resigned on Monday — nine days before a Crew Dragon spacecraft with astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley and aboard is scheduled to be launched by a Falcon 9 rocket on May 27.
Loverro, who took on the job in December, was to have presided over a two-day review set to begin this Thursday on whether to go ahead with the crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Loverro would have made the final go/no decision.
Vice President Mike Pence has nominated former Congressman John Culberson and four other people to serve two-year terms on National Space Council Users’ Advisory Group. Four current members are leaving the board.
“The nominated members of the Users’ Advisory Group will serve to fulfill President Trump’s directive to ‘foster close coordination, cooperation, and technology and information exchange’ across our nation’s space enterprise to ensure that the United States remains the world’s foremost spacefaring country,” the White House said in a press release.
Nominees are pending official appointment by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
John Culberson Former U.S. Congressman, Texas
Eileen Drake President and CEO, Aerojet Rocketdyne
Dr. Bruce Jakosky Professor of Atmosphere and Space Physics, University of Colorado
Jeanette Nuñez Lieutenant Governor of Florida Chairwoman of the Board, Space Florida
James D. Taiclet, Jr. Board member, Lockheed Martin Corporation Takes over as President and CEO on June 15
Marillyn Hewson President and CEO, Lockheed Martin Retiring on June 15
David Thompson Former President and CEO, Orbital ATK
Steve Crisafulli Former Speaker, Florida House of Representatives
Eric Schmidt Former CEO and Executive Chairman, Google
Admiral James Ellis, Jr., USN, Retired Chairman, Users’ Advisory Group
Former Commander, United States Strategic Command, member of the Space Foundation Board of Directors
Dr. Buzz Aldrin, USAF, Retired Apollo 11 astronaut
Tory Bruno President and CEO, United Launch Alliance
David Calhoun President and CEO, The Boeing Company
In what might be a reaction to China’s ambitious space program, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) will award funding under its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to proposals for commercial technology that will allow it to operate in cislunar space.
“As the space beyond geosynchronous orbit becomes more crowded and competitive, it is important for the Air Force to extend its space domain awareness responsibilities to include this new regime.. To support this new body of work, the Air Force is seeking commercial innovation in support of space domain awareness for future cislunar operations,” the service said in a pre-solicitation notice.
Continuing our look at the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s 2019 Report to Congress, we examine the growing threat from China’s military space systems. [Full Report]
by Douglas Messier Managing Editor
China has spent the last 15 years testing kinetic kill, directed energy, electromagnetic, cyber and other systems in an effort to develop methods for crippling American satellites during a conflict.
“China’s development of offensive space capabilities may now be outstripping the United States’ ability to defend against them, increasing the possibility that U.S. vulnerability combined with a lack of a credible deterrence posture could invite Chinese aggression,” according to a new report to Congress by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
WASHINGTON, DC (SIA PR) — The Satellite Industry Association (SIA) today announced the release of a set of Principles of Space Safety, drafted to help protect freedom of use and long-term access to space by ensuring safe flight operations for satellites, human spacecraft and other space missions.
SIA is a U.S.-based trade association that for more than two decades has advocated on behalf of the U.S. satellite industry regarding policy, regulatory, and legislative issues affecting the commercial satellite business.
Nothing illustrates the changes wrought by the Trump Administration’s decision to move up the deadline for returning astronauts to the moon from 2028 to 2024 than a pair of contracts NASA awarded for the Lunar Gateway that will serve as a staging point for the landing.
In May, Maxar won a competitively awarded $375 million contract to build the Gateway’s Power and Propulsion Element (PPE). NASA released a source selection statement that detailed how officials evaluated the five bids they received and why Maxar’s proposal was superior to the others.
Washington, D.C. (SIA PR) – The Satellite Industry Association (SIA) announced the recipient of the Association’s satellite industry award at this year’s satellite industry Leadership Dinner in Washington, DC. SIA President Tom Stroup presented the 2019 Satellite Leadership in Government Award to Dr. Scott Pace, currently the Executive Secretary of the National Space Council. The award recognizes Dr. Pace’s distinguished career in the space industry.
In July 2017, President Trump appointed Dr. Scott Pace as the Executive Secretary of the National Space Council which is tasked with advising and assisting the President regarding national space policy and strategy. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Pace was the Director of the Space Policy Institute and Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at George Washington University. At NASA, Dr. Pace was the Associate Administrator for Program Analysis and Evaluation. He previously served as Chief Technologist for Space Communications in NASA’s Office of Space Operations. Dr. Pace also previously served as the Deputy Chief of Staff to the NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe. Prior to NASA, Dr. Pace was the Assistant Director for Space and Aeronautics in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Prior to his White House appointment, Dr. Pace worked for the RAND Corporation’s Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI).
SpaceNewsreports that NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine didn’t do much on Wednesday to clear up what the Trump Administration’s plan to land astronauts on the moon by 2024 is going to cost in testimony before the commerce, justice and science subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Bridenstine declined to offer a dollar figure, saying that the agency submitted a “pretty good” proposal to the Office of Management and Budget, which is performing its own review along with the staff of the National Space Council. The goal, he said, is to “come up with a unified administration position” on how much additional funding NASA will request. (more…)